I know, I know. You’re thinking, “How much more can she have in her garden?!”. Well, I’m close to the end, but still not done :)
Pretty, don’t you think? I love the different shades of green, and the shape of the leaves, and the way the yellow pops out at you. But I am no longer enamored with it’s beauty. <insert grumpy face>
This is what I have been staring at, day after day, for 3 months. Watering it, watching it flower, staking it to climb, digging through the jumble, hoping to find a treasure. Day after day, I was disappointed. What is it? Tatume squash. Or at least the vine of one. Yes, there are blossoms, but those are only the males, which are not where the squash come from (the birds and the bees, people). The thing I was most looking forward to in my garden this summer was squash. I planted four types: Tatume, Butternut, Spaghetti and Cocozelle. The Butternut died young. I have no idea why. The Spaghetti were growing, then looked sickly, now are growing again, and have a few blossoms. The Cocozelle, like the Tatume, have been showing off their handsome males, but no ladies.
I was supposed to have squash in June. Squash grow very quickly and take only a month and a half-ish to start producing. I first attributed it to the unusually cool spring. Squash love the soil toasty warm. But then it really toasted up. They grew more, flowered more males, but not a squash in site. Until…
Finally! An unexpected treasure. I was simply watering one day, and there it was nestled in my herbs (I’m letting the vine crawl over them right now). This is what a Tatume looks like. I didn’t know until this one came along. It looks like a melon, doesn’t it? I picked it this morning. I read they taste best when about the size of a baseball, although they can get as big as a soccer ball! So, finally, a squash to eat. One lonely squash. Although, I swear I saw another baby one in there somewhere, but can’t seem to find it now. They like to hide from you and then, BAM, there they are staring at you, ready to be picked. I take this as a hopeful sign that more are on their way. Finally. I’m going to use it tonight in this grilled chicken and ratatouille recipe.
As excited as I am to finally get a squash, this is a bountifail. The most bountifail-est in the garden. Squash are one of the easiest things to grow, love the heat, and produce until you are sick of them. I have yet to receive this fortune, and I’m really quite sure I didn’t do anything wrong. I will do another round of planting soon, in hopes of a better fall crop.
Update (7-21-11) The male and female blossoms have been *ahem* quite busy. There are little babies popping up everywhere!